Decision-making can be one of the most challenging aspects of a manager’s job. You want to empower your team, but worry about whether they’ll make a decision that derails the project or negatively impacts your stakeholders. Finding the right balance is easier than you might think once you have a model for determining which decisions should be delegated and a clear method for identifying who will be engaged in the decision-making process and how.
In this episode, I’ll walk through a few different decision-making models that should help give you some frameworks to apply to your decision-making. We’ll cover how to think about who owns which decisions, different ways to be involved in decision-making, and different processes for making decisions.
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Read the related blog article: Make Better Decisions Faster
When decisions are made by those closest to the work, decision quality and speed go up. Research consistently shows that when decision-making authority is shared, productivity goes up, trust increases, and employees are more engaged. Fears around decision-making are essentially fears around risk. To determine what constitutes a risky decision, consider the impact (high/low) vs changeability (high/low). Decisions that are low impact/high changeability are very low risk and should be delegated. Decisions that are high impact/low changeability are very high risk and should generally be owned by the appropriate level of leadership. To ensure the best thinking in included in a decision, use the RAPIDS model: (R)eccomend - who is offering the options and making a recommendation? (A)gree - whose input must be included and who must agree with the decision in order for it to stand? (P)arameters - who sets the scope or boundaries of the decision and what’s acceptable? (I)nput - whose input is needed or who has an important perspective to consider? (D)ecide - who is actually making the decision? (S)hare - who must be informed of the decision after it’s been made? Create a RAPIDS model before a project or decision is begun in order to avoid ambiguity or frustrations down the road. When making a decision as a group, there are generally 3 models: Concurring - everyone agrees to the decision, Majority Rules - a vote is taken and the majority wins regardless of the strength of the nay votes, Consensus - everyone is comfortable going forward and agrees not to block or undermine the decision even if they dont agree with it. To gauge agreement, use a Fist of Five - Hold up the number of figners that correspond to your position: (5 / full hand up) I fully agree, (4) I’m 80% in agreement, (3) I’m neutral, (2) There are a few things I don’t agree with, (1) I’m against this decision, (0 / fist) I’m actively against this decision and would try to undermine it or walk out. For Concurring decisions, everyone must be at least a 4. For Consensus, everyone must be at least at 3. firstname.lastname@example.org